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Cloud Computing Trends to Watch This Year

As the world is trying to recover from the pandemic, cloud services are playing a major role in enabling verticals like healthcare, life sciences, logistics, payment, media, entertainment, IT, etc., to deliver holistically. Notably, Moderna healthcare has built their entire suite on AWS cloud to help COVID-19 vaccine development. It is imperative that CIOs will revisit their cloud strategy and allocate budgets diligently to leverage the cloud more efficiently than ever.

Across the enterprises world-wide, cloud spending is seen taking a big chunk of the IT expenses; evidently we continue to see revenue growth of major cloud providers – Google CloudQ3 is up by 45%, Amazon Cloud Q3 up by 29% and Microsoft Azure Q3 up by 48%.

Here are some of the trends in cloud computing that are emerging over the next 12 months or so.

Rise of Hybrid cloud

While cloud business is expected to grow further, Gartner says 80 % of active virtual machine workloads still run on private infrastructure. To leverage the on-premises resources, organizations may pursue a hybrid cloud architecture along with containers, inwhich some data and applications can reside locally while load balancing, web front and content deliverycan happenin the public clouds.

Highly regulated industrieshave started adopting hybrid cloud to meet the needs oflocal data processing, resolve local system interdependencies, low latency, and data residency requirements.

Cloud providers are aware of the emerging Hybrid cloud and have started offering hybrid solutions such as AWS Outposts, Azure Stack

Multi Cloud – We can see organizations adopta multi-cloud strategy to get the best of eachof the cloud providers, for domain or function specific cloud offerings, and to avoid single cloud vendor lock-in.

Containers and orchestration:

One of the key challenges that CIOs have faced in 2020 is to enable continuous development and delivery of new applications to comply with the changing business needs and global environments.

Containers play a major role in deploying the modern applications-withmicroservices in which all the independent services are loosely coupled and deployed as smaller services.Containerssignificantly boost application performance, minimize operational costs,streamline DevOps processes, and are portable for hybrid cloud, which will make CIOs to include containers in their strategies.

Gartner predicts that by 2023 more than 70 % of global organizations will be running more than two containerized applications in production. Similarly, IDC predicts that 95 % of new micro-services will be deployed in containers by 2021.

Cloud migration and adoption:

Gartner says, going forward, digital transformation will not be just about the ROI justification as it used to be in the pre-pandemic era, as the mandate for IT has become business survival, rather than growth.Companies have more things to do in IT now, with less money to do it.

Cost optimization will continue to drive the cloud adoption:

Almost all the legacy applications that are migrated to the cloud require optimization for it to be cost-effective. Cloud providers and solution partners continue to focus on cloud optimization to design cost-effective architecture and implement best practices for their customers.

Gartner survey data indicates that almost 70% of organizations using cloud services today plan to increase their cloud spending in the wake of the disruption caused by COVID-19.

Along with the cloud, few of the technologies that may see some growth are as follows:

  • Tools and solutions for better compliance, security requirements specific to industries and business continuity.
  • Virtual Workspace and device-based authentication.
  • Gaming apps delivery from cloud.

Fog computing – Connected devices, smarter world

As the number of smart and connected devices have increased more than ever, the need for edge computing to process the data in real-time locally and to achieve low latency requires more edge locations, backed by Cloud.On the other hand, enterprises need to be ready toanalyse the ‘big data’ from these devices to enhancetheir services that perhaps make the world a better place to live.

IDC FutureScape says that, in 2022, 40% of enterprises will have doubled their IT asset spending in edge locations versus data centres.

AI and IoT will continue to trend:

Artificial intelligence and the internet of things have already started reshaping our lives and we can expect the trend to continue so. My 7-year old son happily demonstrates ’hey Google, turn on the light’ to his friends and asks Google assistant to check if it would rain or not.

The COVID-19 pandemic has mandated leveraging of AI and ML technologies in life science, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, financial services and supply chain industries. As we have seen AI deliveringquality results in retail business, chatbots and smart applications, etc., it will eventually evolve to deliver for other domains as well. Recent Gartner poll says 47% of AI investments were unchangedand 30% of CEOs own AI initiatives in their organizations.

As businesses are increasingly becoming data driven, IoT continues to play a major role in creating a new value proposition for businesses.As we see it, IoT is still a growing marketwith solutions across industrial, commercial and consumer segments. A Gartner study projects that the total number of IoT gadgets will reach 25 billion by 2021, producing a combined massive amount of data in the cloud.

(The author is Director – Solutions at 8K Miles Software Services Ltd and the views expressed in this article are his own)

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